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   Sat, November 26, 2005



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WWE promises to get tough on drug use
By TJ MADIGAN - Calgary Sun


For the first time in almost a decade, WWE plans to introduce a drug-testing policy.

The announcement comes on the heels of the tragic death of Eddie Guerrero, 38, who passed away two weeks ago from heart failure. Although he had been clean since 2001, it's believed Guerrero's condition was brought on by years of drug and alcohol abuse.

The trend of wrestlers dropping dead before the age of 40 is an alarmingly regular occurrence in the grappling world but Guerrero's death got an unprecedented amount of mainstream media attention.

Perhaps fearing a media backlash and government intervention (as was the case in baseball) or perhaps figuring the time had come to try to save lives, Vince McMahon called a staff meeting before the Raw TV tapings in the U.K. this week.

The WWE owner announced a new drug policy was being developed, cracking down on performance-enhancing and recreational drugs and even testing for abuse of prescription medication. Wrestlers will also be subject to cardiovascular examinations.

According to McMahon, testing will be regular and random and will be administered by an outside organization. He said there will be no exceptions and the policy will be implemented over the next few weeks.

WWE star Eugene (Nick Dinsmore) was the first to be publicly admonished by the company. Last week, Dinsmore was found unconscious in a hotel lobby in Manchester, England. He later admitted to taking a large dose of Somas, a prescription muscle relaxer and pain killer. He was flown back to the U.S., sent to rehab and suspended indefinitely.

Although WWE hasn't had a testing policy since the mid '90s -- and even that was a short-lived exercise -- the company has been quick to offer help to wrestlers with obvious drug issues. Guerrero and William Regal were among the wrestlers who publicly praised WWE for saving their lives.

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SURVIVE!: Tomorrow night is Survivor Series, one of the big four annual WWE pay-per-views. The show is based around the Raw vs. Smackdown feud, as the sides square off in what could be the last big-money angle on the wrestling horizon.

The single-brand matches will see Ric Flair give Triple H his win back in a last-man-standing match and Kurt Angle challenge John Cena for the WWE title.

In inter-brand action, Eric Bischoff and Teddy Long will fight to determine who is the supreme general manager in WWE, while Melina and Trish Stratus fight for the women's title.

The main event, an old-school Survivor style match, will see Team Raw (Big Show, Kane, Shawn Michaels, Chris Masters and Carlito) taking on Team Smackdown (Randy Orton, JBL, Rey Mysterio, Batista and Bobby Lashley).

You can see Survivor Series at 6 p.m. tomorrow on pay-per-view, at most city movie theatres and at Bottoms Up Sports Pub on 17th Ave S.W.

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GET REAL: UFC will spice things up for the third season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show.

As the market for MMA continues to boom, UFC boss Dana White has buried the hatchet (at least for now) with Tito Ortiz. Ortiz, arguably the biggest name in the UFC since it was taken over by its current management, will return to act as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter, along with former WWF star, Ken Shamrock. The duo will coach rival teams of hungry young fighters who will compete for a UFC contract, potentially worth six figures.